Field Trips Further History of Long Island Course
Riverhead High School ACE History of Long Island Students Use Trips to Engage with the Region’s Past
RIVERHEAD, NEW YORK (APRIL 2023) — Riverhead High School students enrolled in the Accelerated College Education (ACE) History of Long Island course expanded their knowledge on our region with a recent field trip to the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium. The students toured the Gold Coast summer mansion Eagle’s Nest, enjoyed a history of astronomy show in the Reichert Planetarium and explored the 43-acre estate.
“It is incredibly important for students to realize the history of where they are, where they have grown up and how past events have impacted their lives today,” said Riverhead High School social studies teacher Samantha Mallahy, who instructs the ACE History of Long Island course. “Field trips are my favorite part of this course because it allows them to see and learn things that have essentially been under their noses all along. Until we arrive at a field trip location and they can see the evidence for themselves, many students do not fully understand the magnitude of historical events that have taken place in New York City, Nassau County and Suffolk County—from pre-Revolutionary War America to Camp Hero and Plum Island to the impact Grumman had on space travel.”
ACE History of Long Island is a Stony Brook University dual enrollment course offered to juniors and seniors at Riverhead High School. The full-year class meets on alternative days and provides students with three Stony Brook University credits. The course engages students in an exploration of U.S. history through the lens of Long Island’s past from colonial times to the present. Main topics include Long Island’s Native Americans, colonial settlements, the development of towns and counties, the American Revolution, slavery, whaling, farming, the Long Island Railroad, suburbanization and modern cultural, social and economic developments.
The recent trip to the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium provided a glimpse into Long Island during the Jazz Age through World War II and the role of the Gold Coast. Students were accompanied by Ms. Mallahy, as well as Riverhead High School social studies teachers Krystal Lever, Ryan McCaffery and Garrett Moore and English teacher Danielle Bergin. ACE History of Long Island students have enjoyed a historically-rich field trip per quarter, including an excursion to Orient Point State Park and an East End lighthouse tour on a passenger ferry in September and a visit to Old Bethpage Village Restoration and the Suffolk County Vietnam Veterans Memorial in November. The class will be venturing to Montauk Lighthouse and Morton’s Wildlife Refuge later this year.
“It is the greatest pleasure to be able to teach this course that allows students to earn college history credits and enjoy enriching learning experiences,” said Ms. Mallahy.